LONDON — In keeping with its core commitment to advance Armenian education, the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) London Trust recently made a substantial gift to support a scholarship program for graduate students pursuing a master’s degree in Classical Armenian Studies at Oxford University. It is the leading university for Armenian studies in the UK and has pursued the subject since the mid-nineteenth century.
By providing support for one graduate student per year for five years, the new scholarship program will play a key role in helping to foster greater understanding of Armenian culture and heritage. The first scholarship will be awarded in October 2021, with the program running through to 2026.
Scholars studying for the MSt in Classical Armenian Studies gain experience in reading and interpreting a wide range of Armenian texts, thus enabling them to develop a critical understanding of the literary culture and historical background of their chosen period. During their time at Oxford, students will have access to the Bodleian Library’s unique collection of Armenian manuscripts, which includes a very rare copy of the first book printed in Iran: an Armenian Psalter from New Julfa.
The course is directed by Professor Theo Maarten van Lint, who holds the Calouste Gulbenkian Professorship of Armenian Studies. He says: ‘Funding is an indispensable element in offering worthy candidates access to the Master’s in Classical Armenian Studies. Therefore I am extremely grateful to Joseph and Jenny Oughourlian and the AGBU for this generous and strategic donation.’
The creation of the AGBU London Trust Scholarship represents the next stage in an already fruitful partnership between the organization and Oxford, which for the past seven years provided financial support to Armenian students reading a range of subjects at the University. The new scholarship program, which will be open to students from all over the world, aligns with the AGBU’s mission to uphold Armenian heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian spheres.
Joseph Oughourlian, AGBU London Trust Chairman and Vice-President of the AGBU Central Board said: ‘AGBU is absolutely honored to partner with the prestigious global institution that is the University of Oxford. The University’s Faculty of Oriental Studies has been thriving for years and as the world’s largest Armenian organization, it is a logical development for AGBU to support the faculty’s MSt in Classical Armenian Studies. We deeply thank Professor van Lint and his team for allowing this cooperation to happen.’
For more information about the MSt in Classical Armenian Studies, please visit www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/courses/mst-classical-armenian-studies